U.K. Approves Country's Largest Solar Farm
The U.K. government has approved plans for the country’s largest solar park near the southern town of Faversham, in Kent, estimated to cost $550 million. To occupy 490 hectares of valued marshland, the projected 350 MW Cleve Hill park is opposed by local communities and environmental groups.
Planned by a joint team of Hive Energy Ltd. and Australia-based Wirsol Energy Ltd., the park’s solar panels will cover 176 ha of land and have 880,000 solar panels. Battery storage capacity of 700 MWh is apparently in planning with advice from Swiss-based Leclanché S.A.
The park will be connected to the national grid through a substation built 10 years ago to serve the first 630 MW phase of thee London Array offshore wind farm, then the world’s largest.
The Graveney Rural Environment Action Group, is voicing complaints that the proposed Lithium-Ion battery array would be five times bigger than the world’s largest and cover 10 hectares of land. Additionally the Kent Wildlife Trust is warning of damage to adjacent wetlands habitats designated as U.K. and European protected areas. The developers have given no start date for construction.